Synonyms: Lucuma campeciana, L. glabrifolia, L. heyderi, L. palmeri
English name: Egg fruit.
Other names: Sapota amarela, gema-de-ovo
I am so glad that many people have started to plant the egg fruit in Sarawak. Sandakan in Sabah is one of the larger producers of this fruit. The lúcuma (Pouteria lucuma)or egg fruit which is the size of an average apple is a subtropical fruit native to the Peru's Andean region. Lucuma has been found on ceramics at burial sites of the indigenous people of coastal Peru. The ancient race of Moche people had a fascination with agriculture and often chose to represent fruits and vegetables, including lucuma, in their art.
The fruit was first seen and reported by Europeans in the Chinchasuyu region of the Inca Empire in 1531. The name "eggfruit" refers to the fruits' dry flesh, which is similar in texture to a hard-boiled egg yolk. The lucuma has particularly dry flesh which possesses a unique flavor of maple and sweet potato. It is a very nutritious fruit, having high levels of carotene, vitamin B3, and other B vitamins. It is also known to be a good source of protein. And it is no wonder some locals in Sabah and Sarawak even call this is "Milk Mango" or Buah Susu. Some have started to call it Buah Mentega because of its butter like yellow colour.
The round or ovoid fruits are green, with a bright yellow flesh that is often fibrous. It grows at temperate elevations, between 1,000-2,400 metres. Temperatures of its elevated native range make the species technically subtropical, even though its native region is strictly tropical.
It has been grown successfully in subtropical foothills of California. Attempts at growing lucuma in Florida's climate typically fail. In addition to Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, the fruit is grown also to a limited extent in Bolivia and Costa Rica. It grows well in most tropical regions.
In South East Asia the fruit is also available in large quantities in Laos.
Within its own genus there are multiple species considered to have a superior flavor, such as the Mamey (Pouteria sapota), Abiu (P. caimito), Canistel (P. campechina), Green Sapote (P. viridis).
It has recently become popular as a dried powder flavoring, and production of fruits dried for export is increasing on a large scale. Lúcuma is a popular flavoring for ice cream in its native range, and in Chile and Peru even exceeds the demand for strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla.
|I bought this fruit in the Limbang tamu - very "powdery" in texture.|
Always keep the seeds after eating the fruit because they can be grown. However many people prefer to graft or bud for seedlings.
Like most plants in Sarawak aphids seem to attack the trees very quickly. So a way must be found to control this pest.
I do hope that this new fruit will provide a good nutrition to children and adults alike in Sarawak.